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Gas Stats

“You’re a bit OCD and list obsessive, aren’t you?” said someone to me on Monday night that I was having a pleasant drink with. And before I could even start to defend myself, I realised that it’s not just my weight I’ve been recording for a long time, and that there are plenty of other stats and graphs that I could share with you all.

So sticking with our previous post entry of the price of petrol1, I remembered that since getting my own car in the USA back in March of this year, I’d reverted back to doing the the thing that I’d done since I got my first car 18 years ago. (My first car: a Mk.1 Ford Fiesta, metallic brown in colour, and I was 18 years old at the time)

That being … I’ve been record my petrol consumption, mileage, and how much I’ve spent on fuel ever since I’ve been driving.

Now I know that somewhere in a box back home in England (in those pre-Excel days!) I’ve got a notebook (several notebooks, in fact), that recorded the date, the amount I spent, and the number of gallons that I filled up my tank with. That way, you could measure exactly how many miles to the gallon you were getting, and of course keep an eye on the price of petrol.

In fact, I seem to recall that in a time when my bank only let me have a ‘cash card’ – and not a true debit card, everytime I wanted to fill up with petrol, I would drive to the nearest bank, park, get out, walk to cash machine, draw out ten quid, back to my car, drive to the garage, and then fill up my tank and it would cost about £6, give me a few pounds change. (It had an 8 gallon tank, working out therefore at about £1.30/gallon, or 27 pence per litre if you want to be depressed by comparing it to todays price!)

So here’s my mileage.

When I got my car it was on 24,403 miles and I’m now up to 31,759. In over five months of driving, that works out as an average of 45 miles per day.

Based on this I can confidently predict how many miles will be on the clock come the one year anniverary of me buying it (April 2009), and can evaluate in advance its depreciation based on mileage and if I should sell it or not.

Incidentaly, if you want to do this – you have to fill up your tank to FULL each time, let it run down to the point where you’re as near to empty as you’re prepared to let you car go (most modern cars have a warning light now anyway), then fill it up to full again. Don’t try and eek as much petrol1 in as possible – when the pump auto-cut off, stop filling up.

Here’s a fun (and colourful, just for the hell of it) one.

This is how much I’ve been paying to fill up my tank each time in dollars over the last five months. I started of paying around $35, which goes up to the highpoint of $44 towards the end of June, and recently it dipped back down to the $47 mark, until the last time I filled up it cost me $42.

So you get an idea of the trend of petrol1prices over time.

I have also seperately recorded the actual price/gallon that I paid. It was just $3.19 back in April, the most I ever paid (that $44 tank) was when I once paid $4.10 for a gallon, and now prices have dipped back down to around the $3.60/3.70 mark.

And I can’t really represent the next few facts in a graph, so I’ll just have to write about them instead.

• I’ve filled up my petrol1 tank twenty five times in 161 days. Every 6.44 days – or just under about once a week do I need to go get petro1.

• My average miles per gallon (or gas mileage, as the Americans like to say) is 28.66 mpg. Fuel monitoring websites out there seem to suggest that I should bne getting worse than that, which makes me happy.

• During the hot summer months when I ran the AC all the time, I would only get (on average) 281 miles on a full tank. In cool non-AC times, I average out at 318 on a tank. So using AC saps 12% of your fuel.

• Getting a new set of tyres the other week, seemed to improve my mileage slightly. Others seem to agree that having decent tire tread is more fuel efficient. Something to bear in mind.

And that’s all I have for now – but there are other things that I’ve been keeping a record of all this time that I feel the need to share over the next few days…

[1] By which I mean, Gas

8 responses to “Gas Stats”

  1. Josh Maxwell says:

    Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  2. CentralUser says:

    And there I was thinking I was the only person being so anal. I find the most interesting figure on my spreadsheet the ‘cost per mile’, calculated for each tank of fuel. Yaaawwwwnnnnnn….

  3. Amy in BC says:

    Geoff you never cease to amaze me with your charting.

  4. parker says:

    Nothing says “buy this car” quite like a posse of leotard-wearin’ ladies in thigh high tights… those adverts are priceless

  5. Ross says:

    I confess to tracking my mileage and “gas” spend since i bought my Motorbike (well 125cc scooter) that I use to get to and from work each day.

    So I get 25.4 (kilometers per litre) = 59.7445042 miles per gallon (according to the google calculation….)

  6. David - Lightwater says:

    is that american or imperial gallons? Cause if it’s american gallons, then your focus puts mine to shame!

  7. Ben French says:

    It’s like Dave Gorman…..BTW bet you can’t find 54 people whose name is “Geoff Marshall” *nudge nudge*

  8. (William) Andrew says:

    Petrol is down to £1.00 per litre now.

    Geoff – check out “hypermiling” for fuel-obsessives!

    And if you haven’t seen it before, http://www.trafficwaves.org on the theory of traffic jams, complete with animations and YouTube evidence of the practical.

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